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tv   [untitled]    December 12, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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at single projects and justifying them, because of the tremendous architectural benefit -- there is immense environmental benefit, often stated very clearly and documented, it means that as citizens, we really do not know what an area plan means anymore. it means we do not really have a lot of confidence in a planning commission that recommends a zoning is an reasonings -- that recommends zonings and rezonings -- that provide some benefit to the city. maybe they do, and that is good, but let's look at it in part as a revision and understand the ramifications of the project in a bigger scope, not just is this really good for this developer and are beginning of a lot of money right now, which is not a
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good policy. thank you. >> good afternoon, committed. my name is tom ryan. i am speaking here on behalf of the waterfront for all and justin, wfa. supervisors, wfa is strongly in support of 8 washington and believe is a meaningful opportunity to continue the waterfront revitalization spurred by the freeway and the renovation of the ferry building and piers. 8 washington will provide many benefits, including renovating the existing recreational facility and replacing a parking lot with a vibrant waterfront community of residential housing, new retail and restaurants, belowground parking, and three new public spaces. this is in the final part of the
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waterfront area, and this is an example of the type of responsible development that can occur on the waterfront with the support of the commission. as to the subject of heights, initially, it was known for 84 feet across the board. most of us around the table felt that 84 feet was too high for the entire site, that it was more important to lower the height south of jackson so the views were preserved and that the feel of the open area was kept intact. the height at the embarcadero was lower than 84 feet, and the high rises were taller. this step approach actually lowered the height of the overall site. the average before was 84 feet. now, not. they are cleaning spot zoning is taking place. this is really distorting the
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picture. after a long and collaborative planning process that i took part in, the recommendation is to actually lower the heights in some areas and raise them in others. that is exactly what 8 washington does. private tennis courts and parking, compared to the many public benefits that would be paid by the developer and future home owners, it is clear that this is an incredible deal for the port, the city, and the residents, especially the 99% like myself. i urge you to support this when it comes before you. justin amano. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is jennifer warburg. i am here representing a group which supports the seawall project. we believe that the proposed development is a significant improvement on the northern waterfront.
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8 washington presents a unique opportunity to replace these with open space, housing, a renovated, as the official club -- a renovated, space- efficient club, the addition of greenrooms to the project, and a 45 and its preferred playground -- and a 45 foot preferred playground. this bids the scale of the surrounding neighborhood. this reflects the scale of the surrounding buildings and allows for density. given the proximity to much taller buildings, including the golden gate bridge parkway, the scale is modest and appropriate. we would also point out that this comes out of the northern embarcadero design process with community stakeholders, organ design professionals, and planning staff. it yielded the height guidelines
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that have shaped the eight washington crotchet into its current form, including the manner in which it is in height as it draws near the water. we are pleased to note that roger is located in proximity to many transportation lines, including bart -- we're pleased to note that the project is located in proximity to transportation lines. it will encourage them to bicycle, water, and ride transit as opposed to making a car trips. -- to bicycle, walked -- walk, and ride transit as opposed to making car trips. currently, pedestrians are met with the high green fence used to protect the tennis courts. this detracts in the belief from the pedestrian experience.
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we support the washington future -- we urge you to support the washington project when it comes before you in the future. >> good afternoon. my name is dave stockdale. we operate the farmers market at the ferry building, and at -- in that capacity, i am representing my board, my staff, and the small businesses that come to the city on a regular basis and rely on the access and sense of community and strong visuals that are currently in our part of the waterfront. think about what used to be there. there has been radical change in recent years. what we are doing, we now represent the part of a resurrection, an example of best practices. we believe that the eight washington project is also an example of best practices, of a
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best use of that particular site, transforming it from a surface parking lot and private club to a multi layered project with residences that we believe are at an appropriate height for the transition from the waterfront to the high-rises of downtown. activated public spaces which will support our residents, our visitors, our employees, and a real envisioned private club, which we had already heard from one member, it needs in needs, as well. i am a realtor, and i also liked the idea of new customers and maybe most important, continued access to parking for those of us operating small business in the area. admittedly, the project would create a short-term loss of parking during part of the construction phase, but there is going to be alternatives to the parking available at that time, because it is the long
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term benefits that we are after, and this is why we still support what can be, so let's continue with the revitalization of our waterfront. we need to look forward and not always to the past. >> i am jim chapel, also representing spur, and i concur with the previous comments of ms. nordberg. it is important to understand the planning process that has gone into a washington and where it has come. this is out of place since you cannot get the principles and guidelines that have shaped eight washington to maximize the site for the public, not just for a private club members, a few neighbors, and cars. today, we have heard from some long retired city bureaucrats, and it was clear to me from their testimony that they have
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never seen the plan, because the project they are describing is not the project at eight washington. this was done with the help of thousands of stakeholders recommending combining seawall lot 351 with the adjacent golden gateway land to develop housing. this plan has been almost fully implemented from the ferry building two pier 5. 8 washington is the last piece of the pulse poll, and the plan recommends exactly this type of -- is the last piece of the puzzle, and the plan recommends exactly this type of thing. an 84-foot high conforming project. the project was then put on hold at the request of president abbas chiu to go through a 16- month -- at request of president chiu go 316-month
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review process. there have been guidelines that have shaped the washington project in its current form. this is where the building heights come from, from the public planning process. while that was not a magic solution to satisfy the longstanding opponents who are intent on opposing any feasible project, it did, indeed, recommend the exact type of project you will see when it comes before you and the proper for early next year, and then you will get the true picture of the project and the long professional and community process that has gone into 8 washington over many, many years and the widespread public support that has come to it. there is no particular logic in retaining that one particular view. in many locations among the
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embarcadero, the view is cut off by trees, the golden gateway apartments themselves, and the four-story golden gate bridge commons. they will tell you that these episodic views are far more interesting than continuous, and interrupted views. this is why a photographer always put a tree or something in the foreground, possibly -- blocking the view to add debt and interest. i look forward to a complete hearing on this project. -- blocking the view and to add interest. i look forward to a complete hearing on this project. supervisor mar: they also mentioned the president that this would set on waterfront areas, with the development, increasing the hide well above the 84 foot height, and i am wondering if you would just respond to the critique of the project. >> apparently, some people have
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decided that the way to attack this product is on some social basis. as someone who has studied housing supply and demand in detail for many years, it is my position and the position of spur that every housing unit is a good housing unit, because someone is moving up and down the ladder every time. when someone buys a $2 million condominium, they moved out of a $1 million condo, and someone moves into that that was in a $750,000 house, and it gets down to some of you is renting is then able to buy a house. it is supply and demand, very simple. as for your other question, you know, when i was fighting the vietnam war, i did not believe in the domino theory, and it is just as much nonsense as when we're talking about development.
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the project needs to stand on itself. president chiu: i am sorry. you are saying you did not supported in vietnam, but you are supporting it now? -- you did not support it in vietnam? >> if you change the planning designation for one building, will everyone else want the same thing? you know that does not happen in the city. every project is very hard fought. president chiu: just to go back to supervisor mar's question, these are expensive. do you not think that would be a superior way to think about this if we could do that? >> the devil is in the details. where is the if, when you look at the affordable housing set
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aside, which spur helped write and which it supports. this is one of the most value pieces of land on the west coast. if that answers your question. president chiu: let me ask you a different question. spur has supported other projects. this has a 400-car garage, which i think will bring a lot more congestion in a part of town that is already congested. how did spur reconcile that piece of the project? >> there are two pieces to the parking. one is the one unit per space, which is pretty standard in the city. the other is simply replacing parking for the ferry building that is being lost due to the condition of those peers and to the desire to get a parking off
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of the peers and off of the waterfront. >> -- president chiu: so you are ok with 400-car parking? >> yes. president chiu: ok. >> my notes. good afternoon. my name is -- i have lived in san francisco for 32 years. i am here to oppose eight washington. the project looks at seeking luxury condominiums that we have already talked about. , only people who make over $1 million per year can afford it. this is not the kind of housing that san franciscans need or want, especially in this part of town. san francisco is a vibrant city because the activities are easily accessible to everyone. we understand the a desire to build more housing, and it will
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destroy the view of san francisco if we are not careful. developers come into town and only care about short-term projects. they rely on greed to secure their projects. people stop looking into the hearts of the proposals, blinded by a big dollar signs. historically, most of their promises do not come true, but by that time, the community is left with a mess, and they have moved on. if we reduce this to this, we would these responsible for the inevitable decline -- we would be responsible. more facilities for our residents, not less.
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they may be better served if there are a unique opportunities. this cuts down the number of tennis courts from 9 to 6, and now they seek to eliminate the tennis courts altogether. this shows a lack of respect for the community. he does not know how many studios or 1 bedrooms he will have. the america's cup.
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for two or three years, we will have no facilities during demolition and construction. finally, we would like to suggest that this be changed to have character. the current design is boring and ugly. there is now wow factor. other things have been addressed by other people, so i will skip that. >> i live at 440 davis, which is right next to it. the idea of an 84-foot height was not relevant after the freeway came down, and now you want to increase the height even further. this violates the land use, connecting the land to the bay,
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and there is no set back. it also violates the view of the historic ferry building. it will cut off the sunshine for most of the building on the south side of 440 davis where i live. it will shadow ferry parker, which i created, which is plenty of open space -- it will shadow ferry park. there is no need for condos. there is a need for emergency response people to live in the city, which we do not have. this is more important than an expensive condo that caters just to the wealthy people in this city. it is an architectural disaster. there is no set back. it goes right up to the sidewalk. talk about supply and demand, there is an oversupply of condominiums on the waterfront. the demand is for affordable
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housing. come on, people. this is unnecessary. you have ferry park right there. you have the club. now, they are going to wreck the club and take away what we desperately need? that is what we need. district 3 does not have enough recreation. we are the worst in the city as far as this is concerned. discouraging cars in major cities, this is what we should be doing. golden gate center, where i live, has empty cars spaces, which they are offering to the ferry market, so there is no complaint about that. there is no merit to this proposal. this is a crazy intersections with traffic. incidentally, spur wanted to put a 600-car garage and there years
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ago. he does t have a clue, and i defeated that garage, and the same circumstance is taking place right now. it would cause gridlock to the bay, which we already have, and it would go all of the way down to south of market and the embarcadero. we do not need that. what about an earthquake? it is too close to 440 davis. it would absolutely fall down on my building is an earthquake happens, and the whole thing is just outrageous to increase the height. -- it would fall down on my building is an earthquake happened -- if an earthquake happened. everybody disagreed with the plan. 99% to not want it. president chiu: thank you for your comments.
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next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors, president chiu. i am with a group. we have our name taken in vain a few times today. you have heard a great deal about the report, and i have here for your benefit, as soon as i get it straightened out, copies for the members of this committee. i would urge you to study it and read it. the reason this came about was because of the planning department's so-called sessions, most of its spoonfed, done behind closed doors. we are certainly concerned by president chiu.
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the golden gate way tenants association and others, a good number of people from all over the neighboring area, and i might add, the members of frog are not just from the golden gate way. we had a number of chinatown citizens to join in on this. in fact, we even had a workshop for them in mandarin so that they would get their input as to what we were planning. this is a small piece of property. it is for the whole northeast neighborhood, and it provides exactly what the report and the planning department and the neighborhood really want. it came through through a number
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of very good service and workshops. in addition, i would say, there was a recent article that john king wrote in "the chronicle," and he seemed to take some exception to the height, but he said that the high sections of this great washington development were on the ground level. i think as you go through this booklet, this plan, you will see that we agree with that. we are in total agreement with them, and it would provide the substance and the and come and a variety of income throughout the northeast corridor. raising heights on the waterfront, i do not care what anybody says, there is not a developer, him or her in this town, who would not wait for a 146-foot variance and wonder when they will get their foot into developing properties along
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the northeast corridor. thank you very much. supervisor mar: president chiu, i dissent to mention that some were referred to negatively, and some helped to produce this community vision with quite a bit of time, but you mentioned to the chinatown focus group, and i am wondering if you could talk a little bit about how this helped to inform the plan, as well. >> opening up the neighborhood to the waterfront, and this plan does develop that, and we felt we needed as much information and input from our neighboring greece. i might also add that my group has sponsored a scholarship program for the low-income housing so that they could come to the club and be a part of the kids camp, which is the only
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kind of club in the city. every year. 700 kids belong to that and come to that club. president chiu: part of supervisor mar's question, how many kids? >> over 2800. they come from all over, from oakland, marin county, from the southern peninsula, and, of course, in the city. the majority of our members are not residents of the golden gate way. supervisor mar: i think i mentioned to you before that my daughter learn to swim at the golden gate way. there are families i know that our swimming there. i know in the report, there are references to some other seawall lots, and one of the four principles, one, planning with
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people and neighborhoods, two, an ethnically diverse waterfront, 3, enhance and preserve the community's recreation opportunities, which i think is extremely important, and the fourth point is planning for the waterfront as a whole, so can i just ask you what the vision was for the other seawall lots that were identified, not just this one? >> i have to be honest with you, i am not the expert on that other than having worked with them. there are plans and suggestions for retail, for housing, four other open space areas in a general way. that is probably the best i can do there. there are others that i am sure can give you more specific information, but it is a total plan. thank you very much for your time.
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president chiu: i know that supervisor mar contacted several. i have some cards. [reading names] >> my name is mr. glass go. -- glasco. i live very close. i thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 8 washington project. this is calling for two special steps. one, raising the height limit,
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and two, removing the seawall from the public trust. extraordinary steps such as these should only be considered if they benefit the community at large. i do not believe that luxury condominiums qualified in this respect. the 8 washington project represents spot development. land facing the waterfront. almost three years ago, president chiu called for a broader approach in this area. this deals with all of the seawall lots, and this has been discussed several times this afternoon. i believe that this is the right direction for development for san francisco, rather thanhe


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